Archive for Vyvanse

Vyvanse in Canada

Updated January 3, 2011:

Vyvanse was officially launched in Canada on February 1, 2010.
When it was first launched – it was only officially approved for use in children – aged 6-12 years old. As of November 2010, Vyvanse is now officially indicated for use in ADHD in children (6-12 years old), teenagers (13-18 years old), and adults (18-65 years old). This means that Vyvanse is now officially indicated in Canada for use in ADHD ‘across the lifespan’ – i.e. from childhood to adulthood.

Dosage of Vyvanse in Canada:
Vyvanse is available in these dosage strengths in Canada: 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, and 60 mg.
In the US, there is also a 70 mg capsule – but Health Canada wasn’t convinced that it was needed – so for now, the highest dose capsule that we have in Canada is the 60 mg.

Doctors will generally start with a lower dose (often 30 mg) and then increase to a higher dose (often 50 mg). Of course, your doctor will tailor the treatment to your needs.

Vyvanse is a the first prodrug for ADHD. This means that the medication is inactive until an enzyme in the body works to activate it. To read more about how it works, visit this blog post on Vyvanse.

To read the press release on Vyvanse being released in Canada, please view it here.

This blog has several articles on Vyvanse, but my favorite is the one where my readers have shared their experiences with Vyvanse (over 800 comments at this time) about whether Vyvanse works.
You can find more articles by looking at the ‘related posts’ below this article.

Please share any comments or issues with Vyvanse being in Canada below.


Dr. Kenny

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Vyvanse for Teenagers

Vyvanse is a prodrug stimulant medicine which was initially launched in the US for children (6-12 years old) with ADHD, and then later approved for adults (18-65 years old) with ADHD.

As of November 2010, Vyvanse has been approved for use in teens as well – in the USA.

This means that Vyvanse is now officially approved for individuals with ADD/ADHD from the ages of 6 years old to 65 years old.

In Canada, Vyvanse was initially approved for children with ADHD only – and in November 2010, the approval was achieved with Health Canada for teenagers as well (and adults too!).

What does it mean now that Vyvanse is approved for Teenagers?

While most ADHD experts were comfortable to use this medication with teens even before the official approval, there are more doctors who will feel comfortable to use it now that it is officially approved. So, if your teens sees a general pediatrician, your doctor may feel more comfortable to use Vyvanse now that it is officially approved in this age range.

It can also impact insurance coverage:
There was a teen in my office whose private insurance coverage would not cover Vyvanse because of the fact that it was not officially indicated (approved) for teens. Now that it is approved, he can get insurance coverage for his prescription.

Here is a summary of research which was presented at the American Psychiatric Association Meeting which documents that Vyvanse is effective and safe for teenagers. You can read details of the study here.

Please share your experiences of how the official approval of Vyvanse in teens may affect your teen’s ADHD treatment.


Dr. Kenny

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Vyvanse in Adults: 14 Hours

A study was recently published which demonstrated that Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) works up to 14 hours in adults with ADD/ADHD.

In this study, measurements of adult ADD/ADHD symptom control were taken at 2 hours post medication, and were found to be effective all the way to 14 hours after the medication was taken.

This can be important for adults with ADD/ADHD who need to have good symptom control throughout the day – to take care of many responsibilities through the day, including family and work responsibilities.

Based on this study – the FDA has allowed for a labelling change for Vyvanse – so that the product monograph allows for documentation of the 14 hour duration of Vyvanse in adults.

I’m curious to hear adults’ experiences with Vyvanse. Does it last up to 14 hours for you? Does it take 2 hours to start working? Please share your comments below.


Dr. Kenny

Vyvanse in Canadian Pharmacies

February 14, 2010

Vyvanse was launched in Canada officially on February 1st, 2010. Even though it was officially launched, there have been some issues with the ability of pharmacies to get Vyvanse on their shelves.

As of February 12, 2010 – the following pharmacies have access to Vyvanse (i.e. if they don’t actually have it in their pharmacy, they can order it from their wholesalers and have it in within 24 hours)

  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Jean Coutu
  • Main Drug Mart
  • People’s Drug Mart
  • Pharmasave
  • Total Health Pharmacies
  • Wal Mart Pharmacies

I’ve been informed that by Wednesday February 17th, 2010, 80% of pharmacies will have access to Vyvanse from their wholesaler.

And by Friday February 19th, 2010, 100% of pharmacies will have access to Vyvanse from their wholesaler.

So, if your doctor gives you a prescription for Vyvanse (and you’re in Canada), you can go to one of the pharmacies above (which already have Vyvanse), or ask your doctor if it’s OK to wait until your particular pharmacy can get the medication in.

To be clear – there is nothing wrong with the Vyvanse supply or medication. The reason for the delay has to do with the paperwork and regulatory aspects which the wholesalers have to complete to be able to store and ship a stimulant medicine. This will be resolved quickly (and hopefully easily for you!).


Dr. Kenny

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Who Needs ADHD Medication?

Let’s face it – medication treatment for ADD and ADHD is controversial.
It is often a really big decision about whether to start a medication or not.
One of the first questions is this:
Who even needs to take these medicines?
Another way to think about this is:
What is the rational for ADHD medication treatment?

I’ve created a free video for you to learn more about this.
You can see it here: ADHD Medication Mastery.

And when you click through to that site – you’ll be given the opportunity to sign up for free ADHD Medication updates. You’ll get more videos with useful tips to help you and the people that you love.

Click through to see the video now (while it’s still fresh in your mind).


Dr. Kenny

p.s. I’ll be giving you many free videos and lessons on ADHD Medication Treatment in the coming weeks – so make sure to take advantage of it!

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Price of ADHD Medication: A Concerning Trend

As the economy’s downturn is affecting businesses and families alike – it seems that Big Pharma has a plan to keep themselves thriving in this economy.

Quite simply: Raise prices.

A news report shares that Big Pharma are raising their prices to improve their income. Included in the example is Eli Lilly’s Strattera – a non-stimulant medication for ADHD.

I’m not sure if the same thing is happening with other ADHD medications, which are manufactured by other companies.

This is a very concerning trend – especially as people may be under-insured, or uninsured. The medication costs are often prohibitive – and if one needs the medication to survive at work and to keep one’s income, this can be quite a bind.

What has your experience been? Have the costs of your prescription gone up?

Please share your comments below.

** As further explanation – the information above refers to prices in the US. I have recently published two articles showing that the trend in Canada is that in fact the prices are coming down – particularly for Strattera and Adderall XR. You can read more details here: Strattera Price Drop in Canada, and Adderall XR Price Drop in Canada.


Dr. Kenny

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Triple Bead Adderall No More

Adderall XR is a long acting version of Adderall which lasts up to 12 hours. It is a very effective medicine for the treatment of ADD/ADHD, and in fact is the most prescribed medicine in the US. Adderall XR has two beads in the capsule – an immediate release bead, and a delayed release bead – which ensures that the medicine lasts for a full 12 hours, while only taking the capsule only once per day.

As our awareness of adult ADHD grows, it is clear that many adults need longer acting coverage of their symptoms than just 12 hours. While many youth can finish their important tasks with 12 hours of medication coverage, many adults still have tasks that need getting done for up to 16 hours per day.

Shire, the makers of Adderall XR, were planning to create a 3 bead Adderall medicine. The idea would be to have an immediate release bead (for immediate symptom control), an intermediate long acting bead – which would release approximately 4-6 hours after ingestion (for mid day symptom control), and then a third long acting bead – which would help to provide up to 16 hours of symptom control.

It has been reported that Shire has decided not to pursue the development of this new medicine.
This relates to the fact that its new medication – Vyvanse – has demonstrated efficacy going beyond 13 hours. Perhaps further research will show that it actually goes longer than 13 hours.

I would guess that most of you would NOT feel a sense of loss, because I suspect that you didn’t know that the ‘triple bead’ adderall was a possibility.

To keep up to date with medication developments like this, consider joining my newsletter list at The ADHD Doctor , and learning more about medication here: Medication Mastery.


Dr. Kenny

[tags] Adderall, Adderall XR, Vyvanse, ADD, ADHD, Medication [/tags]

Vyvanse for Adult ADHD – Quick Results

Scientific Study Reveals:
Vyvanse® eases symptoms of Adult ADD/ADHD in as little as one week

In one of the largest controlled stimulant trials of adults with ADD/ADHD, Vyvanse® proved to be significantly more effective than a placebo at managing the symptoms of the disorder. And it did so for some in as short a time as one week.

Those are the results of the Phase II trial of Vyvanse, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved last April for adult use. The drug had already been approved for use in children ages six to 12 years old in July 2007.

Vyvanse® passed not one, but two, standard medical markers of effectiveness. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study which lasted four weeks, the trial involved 414 adults between the ages of 18 to 55. The test also used all the possible dosage levels of Vyvanse ®– 30, 50 and 70 mg.

At each one of these levels the prescription medication, manufactured by Shire Corp. outperformed the placebo.

Researchers used the ADHD Rating Scale which contains 18 separate diagnostic criteria as outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the official publication of the American Psychiatric Association. This scale is a validated method for assessing ADD/ADHD symptoms. Using this scale symptoms were reduced by up to 45 percent.

The scientists also used another measurement marker, the Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale as well. The percentage of adults who experienced a reduction of symptoms using Vyvanse who said they were “much improved” or “very much improved” according to investigators, ranged from 57 to 61 percent by the end of the study.

If you would like to view the entire article regarding this trial, you can click here.

Dr. Kenny

[tags] vyvanse, ADHD Medication, Adult ADHD, Adult ADD [/tags]

ADD/ADHD Medication Questions and Answers

As a Psychiatrist, one of the areas that I get asked the most questions about is medication treatment of ADD and ADHD.

A number of months ago, ADD Coach Bonnie Mincu interviewed me about ADD and ADHD Medications.

You can listen to the 62 minute recording of that interview here.

If you’d like to learn more about medications for ADD and ADHD, please visit: Medication Mastery.

I hope you enjoy this audio!

Dr. Kenny
[tags] ADD, ADHD, Medication, Adderall, Concerta, Strattera, Vyvanse[/tags]

Concerta: Approved For Adult ADHD

Taken once and lasting for 12 hours. Whether you’re six years old or 65.

Sounds like this might be a good idea for a new medication. Well, Ortho-MacNeil thought so. And the result is CONCERTA, a new timed-release drug for not only adults with ADHD, but children as well.

Recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, for adults, this medication has been on the market (as you probably well know) for children for quite a while. In fact, it was the first of the new generation of time-released drugs for ADHD.

CONCERTA uses a relative new delivery system, called OROS – which stands for Osmotic Release Oral System — to help deliver “poorly soluble drugs” to your body as quickly as possible. Additionally, this method unique to CONCERTA gives your system a consistent dosage of the medication over 12 hours. This is good news not only to get the symptoms alleviated fast, but to avoid those ups and downs that often accompany other medications.

Whether you choose this medication is a decision between you and your doctor. I’m certainly not saying it’s the right medication for you. Now, you know it’s approved for adults.

It’s important to realize something that many people don’t: That ADHD does not simply disappear for many individuals when they reach that magical, legal age of 18. In fact, research shows that up to 70 percent of children are still affected with ADHD once they hit adulthood!

Statistics show that adult ADHD affects some 8 million people – or one in 20 of us! – on a daily basis. Those who do have it know exactly what I’m talking about – even if your co-workers or supervisors don’t. For adults, ADHD may get in the way of not only career development, but social relationships as well as personal relationships.

Public health officials generally label a mental health condition a “disorder” and recommend treatment when the symptoms impair your daily life patterns. The fact that you now have the option at least to have your symptoms lessened for a full 12 hours is not necessarily a bad thing!

Options are usually quite desirable!

What is the impact of CONCERTA being approved for Adults?

My experience is that most Psychiatrists who are experts in ADHD were already using this medication for Adult ADHD. However, having this approval (or ‘indication’) for adult ADHD means that more physicians will feel comfortable to use it in adults when it is indicated. This may mean that it will be easier for adults to get the medication that they need.

At this time, the following medications are indicated for Adult ADHD:
* Concerta
* Strattera
* Vyvanse
* Adderall XR
* Biphentin (Canada).

There may be some other medicines approved for adults in the USA. As I’m a Canadian doctor, I’m not sure if there are others. Please share your comments or thoughts below.

Dr. Kenny

[tags] Concerta, ADD, ADHD, Medication, Adult ADHD [/tags]